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TAP Air Portugal
TAP Air Portugal is the flag carrier of Portugal. The airline was founded in 1945 and now it is a member of the biggest airline alliance in the world, Star Alliance. TAP Air Portugal (TP) also has codeshare agreements with about 30 other airlines. TAP Air Portugal flies domestic routes inside Portugal and international flights across Europe, America and Africa. With about 90 planes in the fleet, TAP is a medium-sized European airline with a respected brand.
TAP operates only Airbus fleet. Short-haul routes are operated with the Airbus A320 series and longer flights with Airbus A330. TAP is a pure Airbus company.
TAP Air Portugal has also a regional airline called TAP Express. It operates only short and medium-haul routes. The airline flies with ATR turboprops and Embraer turbofans.
TAP Cabin Classes
There is a business class in TAP's aircraft. In this review, we concentrate only on the economy class.
Economy class tickets are divided into four price classes with different service levels. Economy class seats are also divided into two areas: the normal economy class seats and EconomyXtra seats.
EconomyXtra seats are coloured red and they are located just behind the business class. These seats are more spacious, they have USB charging sockets and a reclining seat.
The normal economy class is behind the EconomyXtra. Seats there are coloured green and they are missing the extra features that EconomyXtra seats have. Onboard meals are usually simpler than in EconomyXtra.
With the cheapest tickets, you will end up with a traditional economy class seat. With a more expensive ticket, an EconomyXtra seat may be yours. EconomyXtra seats are available only in Airbus A330 and Airbus A321neo planes. In other aircraft types, all economy seats are similar except that there are a few more spacious seats around the emergency exits.
Services in Economy Class
The cheapest economy class ticket does not include hold luggage. Only standard sized carry-on luggage with a maximum weight of 8kKg is allowed. A more expensive economy ticket includes 23 kg hold luggage. The same rules apply to domestic and international flights.
TAP still serves meals and drinks even in the economy class. On short routes, the meal means a simple snack. When the route gets longer, the snack may be a hot or a cold meal. On EconomyXtra seats, the meal is better. The drink selection includes soft drinks, beer and wine.
Our Flight from Lisbon to Ponta Delgada
In February 2020, we flew from Lisbon to Ponta Delgada with TAP Air Portugal. We boarded a brand new Airbus A321neo. The cabin had a business class and an economy class. The economy class was divided into two sections: The red EconomyXtra area and the green area - economy class. We sat in the normal economy class while we were flying with discounted tickets.
The whole cabin was almost empty. Only about 30% of the seats were taken. The flight departed on time and it also arrived in Ponta Delgada on schedule. The flight was eventless.
How to Find an Inexpensive Flight?
Follow our simple checklist to find a good deal:
- Compare flight prices on Skyscanner on different dates.
- Choose the most suitable schedule and price.
- Decide whether to book directly from the airline or from an Online Travel Agence (OTA)
- Let Skyscanner to forward you to the chosen booking site.
- Go through the booking process and avoid buying unnecessary extras.
- Double check all the details CAREFULLY before the payment.
Check-in and boarding
The ground crew handled the boarding process fast. People were shared in four queues and those who had only a small bag were allowed to board first. The onboard crew were friendly and efficient.
The cabin of the Airbus A321neo looked very clean and stylish. The nice use of red and green colours on the seats made the cabin look fresh. Legroom in the normal economy class is not big but it was enough for us.
Onboard Services and Entertainment
We were offered soft drinks, tea and coffee and a small bag of chips. Also complimentary alcohol was available. Passengers in the EconomyXtra had a better serving. In the era of low-cost airlines, it is always nice to have complimentary onboard services.
Airbus A321neo didn't have onboard entertainment systems nor WiFi. Airbus A321LR and A330neo have them. TAP Portugal magazine was available.
Our ticket was affordable costing less than 50 euros per person. According to our investigation, the price level of TAP Air Portugal is competitive. Tickets also give value for the money.
A short-haul flight in the economy class of TAP Air Portugal was a great experience. Our tickets were affordable but we got into a brand new plane. It was stylishly decorated and the crew behaved professionally. Also, complimentary drinks and snacks were served. We were pleased with the price-quality ratio on these flights and plan to fly TAP again in the future. In other words, we can recommend flying with this airline.
TAP Air Portugal is a good choice if you are flying between Europe and South America or around Southwest Europe. The company has many well-equipped new aircraft in the fleet. Especially the new neo fleet (A321neo and A330neo) can be recommended. They are comfortable and the cabins look nice.
Have you flown with TAP Air Portugal? Comment below how you felt it!